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How to spot Counterfeit Video Games

Escort Missions, Why do they Suck?

Metal Gear Solid

Escort missions. Few things in videogames can elicit a Khan-like scream of despair from players so quickly. 

You’re progressing through an entertaining, tense, action-packed game when suddenly, for reasons known only to themselves, the designers force you to replay the same five-minute (if you’re lucky) section over and over, trying to prevent natural selection from improving the human gene pool by letting your hated escortee remove him/herself from it through rank incompetence.

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Where You Play Affects Your Games (or, Where You Play Them, Games Will Come)

Oculus Rift, VR Headset

            Where we game has changed a lot in recent years, not only with the success of the Nintendo Switch as a system where games are played in a space, not just on a screen.  Also as mobile devices led to a huge wave of casual games and as increasingly powerful and affordable laptops and cloud servers let PC gamers take AAA games around the house or even out of it. With such variety, gamers are more aware of where they are playing – and the relative perks and drawbacks of those spaces – than ever before.

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And the Award for Best Video Game Awards Goes To No One

Video Game Awards

Movies have the Oscars, TV the Emmys, theatre the Tonys, and music the Grammys. What do video games have? Thinking about game awards reveals how different from older entertainment media today’s game industry really is.  The first movie theaters appeared in the U.S. in 1896. The Academy Awards (Oscars) began 33 years later in 1929. Pong, the first commercially successful arcade game, was released in 1972. 48 years later, no Academy Awards of Video Games yet dominate the gaming awards scene.

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 2

BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us - best story games ps3

As Part One [here] of this article explained in more depth, this is a showdown between Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us, two of my most anticipated and most satisfying games of seventh generation of gaming. My comparison is based not on replay value or how the games have aged, but on how influentially they’ve stuck with me a year after my initial playthrough of each. 

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 1

BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us - best story games ps3 

Bioshock Infinite & The Last of Us were easily my personal most anticipated games of the seventh generation of gaming, so why not revisit them in order to make them fight to the death for my long-term affections? In the tradition of the Old School Game Vault blog’s earlier comparison of Bioshock Infinite to the original Bioshock. 

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Can Gameplay Have Spoilers Like Stories Can?

 Video Game Spoilers

            I remember how stunned I was when I played through FINAL FANTASY VII for the first time and got to the part where, in a cutscene, the player-character and fan favorite Aeris/Aerith was impaled and killed by the villain Sephiroth. I had invested in the character both in terms of story and gameplay/RPG character development.

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Positive Effects of Video Games and our Children

Online Gaming for Kids

Video consoles like Playstation and Nintendo were once the kind of video game units that had people locked in their rooms alone for hours on end, but now they've brought the world inside by connecting gamers over the internet.

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Adjusting the Difficulty Level On Video Games - To Fully Enjoy Them

BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us

When I moved to back to Chicago, IL in 2004, I brought with me an old hand-me-down Nintendo 64 Video Game Console (or, more accurately, hand-me-up, since it came from a younger brother). After sending out a batch of job applications,

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Gaming Firsts: A different perspective on influential gaming experiences

Retro Video Game Experiences

            I’ve never thought about my gaming history in any systematic way, so this post is me thinking through my gaming firsts (well, mostly firsts).

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Why Certain - Older Video Games Need a Make Over

Retro Video Game Sequels

Remakes have to walk a tightrope between pleasing purist fans of the original and finding new audiences (and the cash in those audiences’ pockets), and the game that pleases both camps entirely is rare.  

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BioShock 1 “Rapture” Vs. BioShock Infinite “Columbia”

BioShock, BioShock Infinite

Just finished a re-play of BioShock Infinite the other day. There are so many reviews and gamers calling BioShock Infinite one of the best games every made for the PS3.

I’ve been so excited to actually have time to re-play this masterpiece “Its hard to make time with kids” Lol... I have played the first two games in the series so; I have truly enjoyed the under water world of rapture.

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"Wickedly Honest Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About "Free"-to-Play Games"

Free To Play Games


Is this game free to play?

Yes. No.


It depends. Are you willing to give us your money while you play?

Yes. Oh yes.

Then we won’t make you pay, you’ll just choose to pay inside our free game.


Then we will fill the game with stupefying tasks, arbitrary delays, and joyless mismatches until navigating them is worse than whatever work you’re avoiding by playing online free-to-play games and essentially like a terrible minimum-wage job. But a job you get to do for free and that is unencumbered by productive outputs in the real world.

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The Halo Series & How Great Game Play - Can Help Strengthen the In Game Narratives

Halo Multi-Player Games

 Should Halo Expanded it's giant Universe going forward? Or Not?

I never owned an Xbox system until I bought a 360. I was almost exactly ten years late to the Halo party when I fired up a hand-me-down copy of Halo 2 that fall. Halo 2 was showing its age by that point, of course, but it still made an impression in a couple of ways.

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One Word: Foreign Video Games Should Offer Subtitles Just Like Foreign Movies

JRPG Video Games 

 I’ve always been someone who prefers watching a foreign movies with subtitles instead of dubbed. I didn’t figure out why, exactly, until after I’d lived in Japan for two years and then, back in the States, watched a bit of a dubbed anime with a friend and realized why the English voice actors were so weird sounding: they had no idea why they were saying what they were saying.

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 (A Quarter Century Ago) Video Games Taught Me.....

Retro Gaming

A couple years back, while visiting with family over Thanksgiving, my cousins and siblings and I started playing the card game we call King Peasant (though it’s also called a lot of other things around the world). 

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When is it Time to Play Skillfully or Run Like Hell?

Enemy level-scaling: Good or bad

 A handful of hours into Final Fantasy XII, your party emerges from the linear opening of the game and is able to explore and level up in the game’s first open world environment: the Dalmasca Estersand.

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The Joys and Design of Violence in Your Favorite Video Games

Violence in Video Games

            I’m going to be honest: I don’t just like the best shooters out there; I play a fair amount of also-rans as well. I got my PS4 less than a year ago and have been working through the back catalog playing games like Undertale and Bloodborne.

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Balancing the Old and the New in Video Game Sequels

Gaming Sequels

I started playing Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for GBA yesterday, and while on the Fire Emblem Wiki I glanced over the summary of the game’s reception, which went something like this:

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Don't Worry Video Games Can't Influence You, Can They?

Racist Video Games

In another post, I argued that videogames (like all expressive media) influence the world but that, cumulatively, their influence is more likely to be positive than negative because games can show us new. 

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A Retro Gaming Classic, The Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis Retro Gaming Console

One of the most important retro gaming consoles in the history of home video games was the Sega Genesis, released by Sega in North America in the summer of 1989. It was a 16-bit console that featured a library that eventually topped out at over 900 different games.

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